Google quietly landed what could be a killer blow for Microsoft Apps with the release of a number of upgrades to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
The first piece of bad news for Microsoft: Google created a separate iOS app for Slides, its answer to Microsoft PowerPoint.
The rest of the bad news comes in the form of upgrades to the existing Google Docs and Sheets apps for iOS. With them, users can open, create and edit native Microsoft Office files on any iOS device for the first time.
Google Apps are platform and device neutral — and they are also cheaper than Microsoft's offerings.
Slip Slidin' Away from Microsoft?
The announcement was made through a Google Enterprise blog post by Google software engineer Li-Wei Lee. Google had told I/O attendees in June that this functionality was on the way, it didn’t say when it would be released.
With [the] launch of the new Slides app on iOS and updates to the Docs and Sheets apps, we’re delivering on our promise to make it possible for you to work with any file, on any device, any time. Now you can use the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps on your iPad or iPhone and all other devices (your Chromebook, laptop, Android phone or tablet), to complete the same tasks—online or offline. In addition, you can open, create and edit native Microsoft Office files with the Google Docs suite on iOS."
Bang, Bang, Wallop!! Microsoft is going to find it hard to respond to this, although for the time being it may not feel the need to do so. Why? Because Word for iPad is the top productivity app for iOS in the US and in 13th position among all iOS apps as opposed to Goolge Docs 7th position in the productivity space and 240th position overall, according to app store analysts App Annie.
Microsoft had clearly been paying attention to Google's increasing reach. It slashed the price of Office 365, although those price reductions only go into effect for existing users next year.